Egypt premier’s car attacked; riot police deploy after clashes

Updated 03 February 2013
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Egypt premier’s car attacked; riot police deploy after clashes

CAIRO: Egyptian riot police deployed yesterday near the presidential palace after a night of clashes between security forces and petrol-bomb-throwing protesters that killed one man and injured nearly 100.
Protesters threw stones and bottles at the Egyptian prime minister's motorcade yesterday as he tried to enter Cairo's Tahrir Square after overnight clashes nearby and at the presidential palace, media reported.
Dream Live, a private television station, reported that Prime Minister Hisham Qandil left the scene after the attack. His office said in a statement, without elaborating, that he had been "confronted by youths and troublemakers."
"I preferred to avoid a confrontation between them and security personnel," Qandil said later on his Facebook page.
Dozens of protesters remained in the square yesterday after several thousand demonstrators rallied there on Friday against President Muhammad Mursi. Hundreds of people had clashed with police in a nearby street.
Yesterday there was no sign of any protesters, and streets around the presidential palace reopened to traffic, though they were littered with debris.
The smell of tear gas still lingered near the palace, its outer wall scrawled with graffiti including “Topple the regime” and “Freedom.”
In Cairo’s iconic Tahrir Square, protesters threw stones and bottles at Qandil’s motorcade in the morning, the Dream Live television channel said.
The presidency said security forces would deal with violent protests with “utmost decisiveness” and that it would hold opposition groups found to have incited the clashes “politically accountable.”
Mursi’s Facebook page said the protesters sparked the violence by trying to break into the palace. The opposition distanced itself from the violence and urged demonstrators to exercise “utmost restraint.”
But hours before the violence erupted, NSF leader and Nobel Peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei suggested unrest would persist if Mursi kept sidelining his opponents.
“Writing on wall: violence and chaos will continue until Mursi and co. listen to people’s demands: new government, democratic constitution, independent judiciary,” he wrote on Twitter.


New Palestinian deaths bring toll from Israel clashes to 40

Updated 28 min 58 sec ago
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New Palestinian deaths bring toll from Israel clashes to 40

GAZA CITY: Two Palestinians wounded in clashes with Israel were pronounced dead Monday, a Gaza official said, bringing the toll from Israeli fire since March 30 to 40.
A spokesman for the Hamas-controlled territory’s health ministry named the latest fatalities as Tahrir Wahba, 18, and Abdullah Shamali, 20.
Wahba, who was deaf, was shot in the head in a clash east of Khan Yunis on April 6, and Shamali died of “bullet wounds to his belly” sustained on Friday, said spokesman Ashraf Al-Qudra.
Most of the 40 Palestinians killed by Israel since the start of “March of Return” protests on March 30 were shot by snipers on the border, while a few others were killed by Israeli artillery or air strikes.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians in the coastal enclave, wedged between Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean, have gathered at the border on consecutive Fridays to call for Palestinian refugees to be allowed to return to their former homes now inside Israel.
Some protesters have launched stones or burning tires at Israeli soldiers.
Israeli forces have responded with live ammunition, wounding hundreds in addition to those killed.
The Israeli army says its troops only opened fire in self-defense or to stop protesters attempting to breach the barrier separating the territory from Israel.
More than 440 demonstrators suffered bullet wounds or gas inhalation on Friday, rescuers said.
Israel has drawn harsh criticism from rights groups along with calls for investigations by the United Nations or the European Union.
Israel has for more than a decade imposed a crippling blockade on Gaza, fighting three wars with Hamas since 2008.
Also on Monday, Hamas’s military wing said one of its men died in an explosion.
It said in a statement that Mohammed Al-Maqadma, 55, was killed by an “explosive projectile” fired by an unnamed group which it described as hostile to Hamas.
It did not elaborate further.
The Gaza health ministry said a child was wounded in the same blast, in the northern part of the strip.